Today, the North Topsail Beach Board of Aldermen met to discuss a few matters of imminent importance. First and foremost, the Board acknowledged and accepted the resignation of Mayor Tuman. On the morning of March 19th, Mayor Tuman informed the Board that he was retiring effective immediately. Mr. Tuman has a long history of service to the Town. His contributions have resulted in millions of dollars in funding, the completion of complex beach nourishment projects and forward-thinking policies that will benefit our community for generations to come. The Board of Aldermen, on behalf of the property owners and citizens of North Topsail Beach, thank Mr. Tuman for his years of public service. Our community is undoubtedly better because of his hard work and sacrifices. The Board wishes him the best of luck in his well-deserved retirement.
As a matter of procedure, the Board conferred the authority and powers of the mayor’s office to the mayor pro tem, who will be acting in this capacity until the results of the 2019 municipal election are certified. The Town anticipates that it will receive notification of the election certification next week, barring any delays attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, the Board announced that it has selected an interim town manager. Mr. David J. Gilbride joins North Topsail Beach after many years of managerial experience. Next week, Mr. Gilbride will begin working with the current town manager to facilitate a smooth transition. He will officially assume the responsibilities of the office on April 4th. The Board welcomes Mr. Gilbride and looks forward to serving the citizens and property owners with him.
Lastly, in accordance with recommendations from the federal and state government due to the increasing concerns for COVID-19, the Board lifted the restrictions contained in its Policy for Remote Participation so that the elected body can continue to meet and conduct business but in a manner that promotes the health and safety of the community. The Board also discussed the Town’s current state of emergency and considered additional measures. Today, Mayor Pro Tem McDermon issued a revised Declaration of Emergency with no additional restrictions. The revised Declaration includes a summary of several of the mandates contained in Governor Cooper’s recently issued Executive Orders. The revised Declaration is included below:
DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY
BY THE MAYOR OF NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH
WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned of the high public health threat posed by COVID-19 globally; and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services ("NCDHHS") confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina as of March 10, 2020; and
WHEREAS, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order No. 116 titled “Declaration of a State of Emergency to Coordinate Response and Protective Actions to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19, and subsequently issued Executive Order No. 117 and Executive Order 118 related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These Orders include provisions prohibiting mass gatherings, provisions mandating school closures, mandating bar closures and provisions restricting restaurant operations to carry-out, drive through, and delivery services and restricting onsite consumption in outdoor seating areas only. Based upon guidance from CDC and NCDHHS, arrangements must be made to take appropriate action to ensure that COVID-19 remains controlled and that residents and visitors of North Topsail Beach will remain safe and secure.
WHEREAS, the Town of North Topsail Beach considers the Federal and State governments’ responses and protective actions necessary to address the COVID-19 public health emergency and to provide for the health, safety and welfare of residents and visitors located in North Carolina; and
WHEREAS, declaring a State of Emergency and imposing restrictions and prohibitions ordered herein and in future modifications is necessary to maintain order and protect public health, safety, and welfare.
NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to the authority vested in me as the Mayor of North Topsail Beach and under Article 1A of Chapter 166A of the North Carolina General Statutes:
Section 1. A State of Emergency is hereby declared within the jurisdiction of North Topsail Beach.
Section 2. The emergency area covered by this state of emergency shall be for the territorial limits of the Town of North Topsail Beach.
Section 3. For the duration of this emergency, the Town of North Topsail Beach encourages and supports guidance issued by the State Government through the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
Section 4. This declaration shall take effect on the 20th of March 2020 at 5:00 PM and shall remain in effect until modified or rescinded.
DECLARED this the 20th day of March 2020.
Mayor Pro Tem